Recommended Software

The university has some good deals for many popular packages through ServiceNow and also directly with our primary software vendor, Insight Public Sector which is available on Workday MarketPlace.

There are many software packages out there, but these are ones we have available through special arrangements:

  • Operating Systems: Download sites are available for Windows 10 or 11 Education, Enterprise or Professional, both 32 and 64 bit versions. We also have physical media (yes, CD’s and DVD’s) for Windows 7, XP, 98SE and 2000 Professional if you need them for a virtual machine or laboratory system. Similarly we have the media for some older MacOS versions, and numerous distributions of Linux (including Ubuntu and its many variants, of course). Activation for the Microsoft operating systems is separate, but departmental systems can be activated on campus through the campus KMS servers. Download Linux ISO images from the University of Indiana mirror site. Note that all Windows systems should be running Windows 10 or 11, and all Macs should be running a currently supported OS (10.15 Catalina or newer in Fall 2022) to be directly connected to the campus network.
  • Productivity Suites: Microsoft 365 Apps. All registered university students, faculty and staff can download a copy of the latest version of Office Apps (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, etc.) from their Microsoft 365 account for personal systems. Department faculty and staff can download the latest version from for university owned systems. To activate the university enterprise versions you must do extra steps on your computer, so contact me and I can help you out. Both sites require WUSTL Key authentication. Braver souls can try the free alternatives like LibreOffice or FreeOffice.
  • MATLAB: The department currently has a departmental license of MATLAB for use by anyone in the department including faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students.  Any faculty or staff interested in installing MATLAB on their system should contact me for further instructions. Students can find MATLAB information here. All standalone MATLAB licenses must be reactivated every year to keep working.
  • Communications: For remote terminal access we recommend people use a SSH client like our favorite for Windows, MobaXterm. For file transfer we suggest the multi-platform favorite, FileZilla.
  • Graphics: Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop version CS6 was the last version for which we could purchase “perpetual” licenses, and now we cannot even purchase that anymore. So now you must either buy your own Adobe subscription through ServiceNow or use old software. Students can purchase a special ~$60/year offer for Creative Cloud. Those wanting to try out the open source alternatives should give Inkscape, Photoscape or GIMP a try.
  • Anti-Virus: The university now allows us to install the Cisco Endpoint Security anti-virus package for university owned systems. Any Wash U person with a WUSTL Key can download it from here. For personal systems, Sophos Home Free no longer exists so you should use Avast One Essential or AVG AntiVirus Free (both have Windows and Mac versions.)
  • ArcGIS: Due to a licensing agreement between the university and ESRI, any student, faculty or staff member can install ArcGIS on their computer for academic and research purposes. Visit the Data Services web site for more information and to find out how to obtain the software.


Backing up your data is very important. With today’s giant hard drives on every PC, the department does not have the resources to backup everybody’s computers. The backup of your document and data files is therefore your own responsibility, but we have several recommendations:

  • – Wash U IT is offering this collaboration/file sharing tool which also provides backup capabilities with unlimited online storage. All the files shared online are backed up and available for remote access from anywhere on any computer or mobile device. You can use Box Drive to make your storage appear as a local drive where everything is stored encrypted in the unlimited cloud. By default a local copy in not stored on your own drive unless you specifically tell it to save a local copy. The files are then easily accessible by any browser as well.
  • OneDrive – OneDrive is integrated with the M365 apps which makes it easy to use as a repository for all your Microsoft documents. All university faculty, staff and students receive 1TB of storage which is plenty for small documents (upgradable to 5TB with just a request). For more storage and better collaboration tools use Box instead.
  • External USB Drive – Some folks do not trust online backup for some reason, so they can stick to a hardware based solution. That means an USB external hard drive, SSD or flash drive large enough to hold your essential documents. Many drives comes with some kind of backup software, but there are also free alternatives we can suggest. Make multiple copies since storage media is inexpensive!
  • CrashPlan – If you want a complete backup solution that backs up everything on your system you can purchase an annual subscription from Wash U IT for CrashPlan. It will automatically backup everything on your system and save it to the cloud.